Moscow: In his address to the Russian parliament on Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin tabled amendments to the constitution. The proposal provides for reducing the President and Prime Minister’s powers while granting more control to the parliament. After Putin’s proposal, Dmitry Medvedev and Russia’s entire cabinet resigned. Also, Mikhail Mishustin was nominated as the new Prime Minister. Analysts claim the move was a strategy meant for maintaining Putin’s grip on political power after his presidential term ends in 2024.
In 2018, Vladimir Putin was elected as President for the second term, which will expire in 2024. As per the Russian constitution, he cannot participate in the next Presidential elections. The proposal made in his Wednesday’s address, thus, makes apparent that Putin has initiated actions to extend his grip on power in the country. During his speech, President Putin hinted at granting more powers to the parliament, the parties in it and its members. Furthermore, Putin’s proposal exposes the possibility of the powers with the President reducing comparatively despite the Presidential system staying the same.
A referendum is necessary as the Russian citizens need to accept the changes, President Putin said as he announced about the constitutional reforms. Analysts believe elections are therefore likely to be held in the country this year. Reportedly, Putin’s close aide Medvedev sending the resignation for the entire cabinet is a phase of Putin’s strategy. Despite Medvedev’s departure from his Prime Ministerial position, he was nominated the deputy head of the presidential Security Council.
At the same time, Mikhail Mishustin, the former head of Russia’s Federal Tax Service, was appointed as the country’s next Prime Minister. The parliament was found to have supported the nomination as well. Mishustin is known as an economic expert and the responsibility for the ambitious plan Putin announced a few days ago, would likely be assigned to him.
Western analysts believe President Putin’s strategy aims to alleviate the Russian people’s displeasure brewing for the past two years, along with keeping his grip on power.